Seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on Robert Milkins in the Last 16 of the 2023 UK Championship in York on Thursday.
O’Sullivan is the most decorated player in the history of the UK Championship, having claimed the first of his 39 career ranking titles at this event 30 years ago.
The Rocket eclipsed Steve Davis’ joint record of UK Championship titles when he triumphed at The Barbican in 2018 and is looking to add to that tally and secure a first ranking title since the 2022 World Championship.
The world number one is making only his second tournament appearance on UK soil this season, having withdrawn from a number of events including the Champion of Champions and Northern Ireland Open in order to prioritise his schedule in China.
O’Sullivan clinched a fifth Shanghai Masters title in September and was a semi-finalist in the recent International Championship in Tianjin.
He began his campaign in York with a 6-2 victory over Anthony McGill, reeling off six frames on the spin from 2-0 down to surge through.
The 47-year-old, who has been in the headlines following the recent release of his fly on the wall documentary, now comes up against the vastly experienced Milkins a decade on from their last meeting in this event.
Milkins was forced to recover from 5-3 down before edging out Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in a last-frame decider and is bidding to reach his first UK Championship Quarter-Final since 2002.
Having won the Welsh Open in February, ‘The Milkman’ has struggled to build on that momentum this season and this is his best performance of the campaign to date.
Milkins’ last appearance at this stage of the UK Championship came in 2013, when he was whitewashed 6-0 by a merciless O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan has won 10 of his 11 previous meetings with Milkins – whose sole head-to-head success came in the single-frame Shoot Out back in 2011.
The match gets under way from 1pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 11 frames, with either three-time UK Champion John Higgins or three-time ranking finalist Zhou Yuelong awaiting the winner in the Quarter-Finals.
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